Cranes Green Cottage (Farm)
Cranes Green Cottage (more recently called Oaklands) is one of the oldest houses in the village and stands on the south side of The Green along the footpath that leads from the Co-op to Holly Close. It gave its name to the green in front of the Co-op and Ross Villas called Cranes Green where there was also a pond which was filled in, or dried up, c1914. It was a smallholding and its grounds were larger than they are today but have since been built on as part of the “Rowans” estate.
The exact date the house was built is not known but its style and some supporting records indicates pre1800. Arguably it is shown on Faden’s map of 1797 as illustrated here:
There are clues to the age of the property by reference to Land Tax payments made by Thomas Crane Snr and his son Thomas Jnr. in 1798, 1800 and 1812. Land Tax schedules do not name properties so we cannot be sure the payments relate to this property but at a time when houses were simply named after their owners/occupiers it is highly likely that this is how the property got its name.
Thomas Crane Jnr. was listed in 1812 Inclosure Award as the owner of the property which included a cottage, barn, stable and outbuildings to a total of 2 acres, 3 rods and 30 perches. Below is the Inclosure Award map showing the property which is the same as Cranes Green Cottage. Thomas Crane Jnr. died in 1833.
The house is also shown on the 1842 Tithe Award map and accompanying list as plot 316 (and 316a the road in front of it). At that time it was owned by William Rising (1769-1846) and occupied by William Pollard Thompson (1801-1844) who was a farmer. The rest of the plot previously shown in 1812 but now numbered as 171 was farmed by John Lacy. This is the 1842 Tithe Award map that shows it:
The house is not specifically named in any census from 1841 to 1891 inclusive and as a result is very difficult to trace. Looking deeply at these records there is no single family in the area of the house that consistently appears over these years.
The Register of Electors for 1898 lists James Cooper Faulke as living at Crane’s Green with his wife Eliza, nee Crisp. Her father was Anthony Crisp and he was a surgeon who for many years was also the Registrar of births and deaths for the village. James had taken over that role following his father-in-law’s retirement so Cranes Green Cottage must have seen a regular stream of visitors attending to register these events. James & Eliza appear to have lived there in 1901 but James died in 1905 and Eliza moved to Ivydene off Back Lane.
The identity of the house in the 1911 census remains problematic. For the first, and only time direct references are made to it in a census….. but there are in fact three references to families living at “Cranes Green”. It seems they are referring to it as a tiny area of that part of the Village Green without specifically saying which one was the actual cottage. The three families listed were:
- James & Catherine Goodwin plus seven children. James was a market gardener.
- Charles & Rosa Green and their son. Charles was a labourer.
- George & Harriet Smith who were both 89 and retired. George was previously a tailor.
The most likely candidates for living at the cottage were James & Catherine as it had previously been associated with market gardening and had suitable outbuildings.
Kelly’s Directory of 1929 tells us that James Albert Dyball lived there and was a farmer. He was born in the village in 1863 and his parents were Thomas Dyball (1832-1909) and Maria, nee Kerrison (1835-1909).
In 1937 and 1939 the house was occupied by Wesley & Edith Stone and their five children. They were from Halvergate and he was a market gardener.
Finally, here is a chart from 1951 when adjacent sewerage works were being carried out that clearly shows the house still with its outbuildings.